Tasmania to overhaul authentication in new network deal

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Tasmania to overhaul authentication in new network deal

Tendering to start ‘very soon’.

The Tasmanian government is looking to make life easier for its staff, who currently struggle with a multitude of professional logins, as part of a revamped networking deal set to replace arrangements with Telstra and a number of other providers.

The state government revealed in late 2013 that it would take the end of the contracts as an opportunity to rethink how it operates its network infrastructure.

Under a 2006 contract arrangement, dubbed NTII, Telstra won a spot managing the government's core IP network, while AARNet, iiNet, TasmaNet and Anittel were appointed to share the provision of internet carriage, network connection services and data centre facilities.

In the lead up to the May 2015 expiry for the NTII contracts, Tasmania has been working on the fourth incarnation of the state-wide network outsourcing deal (known as NTIII), which places a major focus on increased security and streamlined network access for staff.

It plans to take the first of the new-look contracts to tender "very soon". 

It revealed today that it will use the supplier refresh to ask for a new authentication and authorisation service (AAS), which will deliver single sign-on for staff and tailored access to applications, enabling the state’s public servants to ditch siloed agency and system-specific user accounts.

The planned introduction of the AAS follows a 2014 internal investigation which found IT staff were wasting hours manually managing the security levels and access needs of staff.

The study also found that the current approach was holding the state’s small bureaucracy back from consolidating and sharing services.

The full scope of NTIII was revealed to prospective bidders late last year, and is set to take in network infrastructure and data centre services, which cost the state government about $16 million a year to maintain.

It is prioritising consultation with the local IT industry before it kicks of the formal procurement process.

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